I wanted to write a quick post about dealing with losing a pet. We lost our blue tang last week, and now that I’ve had a bit of time to process everything, I’m ready to talk about it. While I don’t talk too much about my family, in this situation it’s relevant. Besides my husband, I have an almost four-year-old son. We also had to explain to him that his pet “dory” was gone.
There’s not much to say. The rest of our fish were and still are totally happy and normal, but our little blue tang went from fine to dead in less than 12 hours. Something similar happened to our society finch a few months ago, where we woke up and she was on the bottom of the cage. It’s hard, especially when these small creatures are clearly not ready to die. They were both right at the beginning of their life spans.
We also had to explain death to a three-year-old. The idea of losing a pet was completely foreign to him, as is the concept of death at this point. We took our little fishy to the beach and let him say goodbye, then let him go to sleep in the ocean, where he belongs. We told him that sometimes, animals (we haven’t had to deal with people yet, thank G-d), get sick and they go to sleep, and sometimes they don’t wake up anymore.
I think the most heartwarming part of this situation came when we got back home, though. He was very quickly back at the tank, telling the rest of the fish to not be sad. His “dory” was sleeping in the ocean, but he would take good care of them. We also talked about how he can always remember it in his mind and his heart forever. He is clearly sad, but doing much better than I had thought in the beginning.
Have you ever lost a pet? Do you have any special ways of dealing with the loss of a creature you love or explaining it to someone small? Leave me a comment or tag me on social media.
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